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Living in Lockdown: Get Healthier Day by Day with Pinggang Pinoy®

March 14, 2021 11:55 am

March 14, 2021 | 11:55 am

Eating healthy seems to be the answer to anything these days – whether to boost your immunity against viruses, to lose the quarantine weight gain, to uplift your lockdown mood, and sometimes, even to improve your skin from breakouts! But what does eating healthy actually mean? Dapat ba puro vegetables ang kainin?

Here’s where the Food and Nutrition Research Institute’s (FNRI) Pinggang Pinoy® comes helpful. It is an easy-to-understand food plate guide that shows how much of Go, Grow, and Glow food we should eat for a healthy and balanced diet. It even has a guide on how much water you need each day. If you’re interested to know what makes for a healthy plate, read on to find out!

According to the Pinggang Pinoy® , ⅓  of our plate every meal should be filled with Go foods. These are energy-rich carbohydrates that give our body the energy to move and do daily tasks. While kanin is life for us Filipinos, there are other energy-rich foods that are as nutritious and as enjoyable. On your next meal, try substituting rice with root crops, bread, oats, or pasta. Changing your carbs from time to time is a fun way to excite your taste buds without sacrificing nutritional value.

A healthy meal doesn’t mean overloading on just vegetables. We need meat in our Pinggang Pinoy® , too! Protein and Iron-rich Grow foods like fish, shellfish, lean meat, poultry, eggs, and dried beans, are necessary to support growth and muscle development in our body. For fish specifically, fatty fish like tuna, sardines, and mackerel are recommended to be consumed 2-3 times a week as they contain essential fatty acids that help keep our heart healthy. Adding calcium-rich dairy products also help make our bones and teeth strong. Too much of the good stuff can also be bad, so try to keep your Grow foods only up to ¼ of the plate.

What goes on with the rest of your plate? Say hello to Glow foods, your highly nutritious and delicious fruits and vegetables. Often the least favorite but they are actually the most important part of the Pinggang Pinoy® as it comprises one-half of the plate. Vegetables should be at least ⅓ of the plate while fruits can’t go over ¼ of the plate. High in vitamins, minerals, and fiber, Glow foods are necessary for the regulation of our body processes. From red to yellow to green, you’ll never run out of fruits and vegetables to experiment with every day. Try to find the ones your taste buds enjoy so you can maximize the benefits of Glow foods.


Here’s an affordable meal idea for your Pinggang Pinoy®: Breakfast Edition. The star of this meal? A Scrambled Egg with Tomatoes dish made with AJI-NO-MOTO® Umami Seasoning . You can cook this up in minutes for when you’re rushing in the morning without sacrificing taste and delight!

In a bowl, just mix your beaten egg, tomato and onion. Season with salt, ground black pepper, and AJI-NO-MOTO® then fry away! Nothing can get easier than this.

Check out our easy-to-follow Scrambled Egg with Tomatoes recipe here.

Serving suggestion: 1 cup rice, 1 cup Scrambled Egg with Tomatoes, 1 slice ripe papaya


For your mid-day meal, we’re going for something heavier and more filling to get you ready for the rest of your day. Do check out this well-balanced Almondigas Pinggang Pinoy® lunch set!

For the Almondigas, begin by preparing your meatballs. In a bowl, mix ground pork, carrots, squash, onion, garlic, egg, and shredded bread. From here, you can see that it’s already a mix of go, grow, and glow foods in little amounts! Season it with salt, pepper and PORKSAVOR® for a meatier taste. Now form it into bite-sized balls by taking 1 tablespoon off the meat mixture, and deep fry until golden brown.

Now for the soup, heat oil in a pan and sauté some onion and garlic. Add the sponge gourd into the water and boil it until cooked. Season the dish with ground black pepper and PORKSAVOR® . And for the last boil, add in your misua and fried meatballs. Now your healthy, hearty dish is ready to serve!

Check out our easy-to-follow Almondigas recipe .

Serving suggestion: 1 cup rice, 1 bowl Almondigas (with 3 meatballs), 1 slice melon


Make your family’s last meal of the day a Pinggang Pinoy® meal to look forward to with a healthier take on a Filipino favorite. Here’s how to make this delicious and nutritious Tofu Sisig.

In a pan, heat some oil and deep fry tofu until it’s nice and golden brown. Drain your pieces and set aside. In another pan, add in your margarine and sauté onions and mushroom. Add in your tofu pieces as well. Pour in SARSAYA®️ Oyster Sauce and a dash of pepper. Mix well and let it all cook together for another minute , and you’re ready to serve!

Check out our easy-to-follow Tofu Sisig recipe .

Serving suggestion: 1 cup rice, 1 ¼ cup Stir-Fry Chicken and Vegetables, 1 piece banana 

A cup of carbs, a portion of meat, a good serving of fruits and vegetables, along with proper exercise– that’s all you need to complete your Pinggang Pinoy® health goals every day. And now that you know what a healthy meal looks like, you can now make better nutrition choices for you and your family!

But do remember that energy and nutrient needs vary from one person to another depending on gender, age, and activity levels, so portions will have to be adjusted depending on who you’re cooking for. Have a more detailed understanding of the Pinggang Pinoy® at FNRI’s website . And for more healthy meal suggestions, check out this 7-Day Menu Challenge .